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Who is going to use the no follow in paid links?
I sell links should I use it...
proboscis




msg:3313976
 9:48 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I sell advertising on my site and I know Google wants us to use the rel=no follow in all paid links but I haven't started doing it yet.

Wondering what all of your opinions are, should we start using it for all paid links?

 

reseller




msg:3314032
 10:24 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

proboscis

IMO, one should add rel=nofollow attribute to ALL paid links.

You may wish to view Matt Cutts recent post How to report paid links [mattcutts.com]

I hope this helps.

europeforvisitors




msg:3314035
 10:28 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you use the nofollow attribute, you should learn quickly what your advertisers think they're buying :-).

calicochris




msg:3314039
 10:31 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Geez, according Matt Cutts, we should report paid links? Sounds a little big brotherish to me?

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between advertising and a paid link? So, I go to a website that advertises my products and pay for a nice sweet banner ad (of course with a link to my site). Of course I pay for it. It is advertising. So, now the advertiser has to rel=no follow my banner ad? Say this advertiser wants to give me a link out of the goodness of his heart. So, now he needs to put another link on his site that is not rel=no follow?

I cannot see the wood for the trees here.

proboscis




msg:3314073
 11:13 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between advertising and a paid link?

Advertising is getting a link for traffic/branding or whatever from the site you buy the link from and a paid link is selling pr, I think. Problem is you can't usually tell intent so google wants us to tell them by adding a rel no follow to all paid links.

So, now he needs to put another link on his site that is not rel=no follow?

I know, I was wondering that too, I link out to sites that I like everyday because my site is a directory and people who I link to freely sometimes come back and buy an additional links in my directory.

So how will google view that? Having several links to the same site, some with the no follow and some without.?

Whitey




msg:3314103
 12:05 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

From the point of view of your site safety, the potential exists for your site to be filtered for passing PR and link text, and having it's PR stripped.

From a commercial point of view you have to weigh the risk against the benefit [ to you ].

The risks are that:

-Google might pick it up through it's algorithm [ usually this relates to link network schemes where a pattern can be established ], but other methods are on the way.
-A competitor sends a SPAM report citing your site as an offending party.

As Europeforvisitors says, you will not receive much revenue for advertising unless you take the risk.

So maybe you'd consider Adsense instead.

I think these are your options. One thing you can be sure of, bluff or no bluff, Google , through Matt Cutt's statement is focused on eliminating competition to it's Adsense program and better controlling the results of sites with it's own system rather than outside interference.

[edited by: Whitey at 12:09 am (utc) on April 18, 2007]

europeforvisitors




msg:3314120
 12:40 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Geez, according Matt Cutts, we should report paid links? Sounds a little big brotherish to me?

It isn't a question of should or shouldn't. You can report links or not. It's up to you.

Similarly, you can sell text links if you want. That's also up to you.

Finally, Google can penalize or discount what it thinks are purchased links. That's up to them.

Bottom line: All of us (including Google) have the freedom to make choices. Isn't freedom a wonderful thing?

proboscis




msg:3314148
 1:49 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

From the point of view of your site safety, the potential exists for your site to be filtered for passing PR and link text, and having it's PR stripped.

Is that for real? Did Matt Cutts say that or someone else? But that's another thing too, I don't sell text links I sell image links, because the topic of my directory has to do with certain images, so I didn't know if it was important to also no follow image links or just text, I would guess probably you should do the image links as well.

I think most of my advertisers buy for traffic, my pages average a pr 3 with 20, 30, 40, 50 +++ non-paid directory links per page, with that on top of the fact that the paid links are images - if they are trying to buy for pr they don't know what they're doing...

Whitey




msg:3314303
 6:14 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

You're probably aware of this hot topic on paid advertising links, commencing from Matt Cutts comments on How to report paid links
[webmasterworld.com...]

The example i quoted actually occurred and we carried out an experiment to prove it. But at this stage there are some things Google detects and some that it doesn't.

Not putting in "no follows" does increase your risk of detection - but i don't know if Google would wipe you out - probably not at this early stage [ IMO only ].

Taking chances is a commercial risk. But Google has stated what it likes , what it doesn't and where's it's objectives are set.

Europeforvisitors

Isn't freedom a wonderful thing?

All business models should diversify from the risk by reducing dependency on specific functions that Google can upset.

This is what i interpret from the freedom choices we can make with Google.

[edited by: Whitey at 6:26 am (utc) on April 18, 2007]

pageoneresults




msg:3314307
 6:27 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not putting in "no follows" does increase your risk of detection.

Hmmm, I'm going to counter and say that using nofollow is more of a risk. Seriously folks, how many "real world" people know what the nofollow attribute is? Its us, we control the nofollow attribute. Use it and you've provided a marker. Its also a great way to tell your partners that you don't trust them. ;)

If your paid links are grouped in one certain area, then you may want to look at how those are viewed algorithmically.

Personally, I think Matt is just sending a message to certain groups of people. They know who they are and those networks they are affiliated with. The cottage industry of link brokering is changing face.

I surely wouldn't want to have a website devoted to the brokering of links, not in this day and age. In this instance, you don't want to be found online. ;)

proboscis




msg:3314381
 8:37 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, I'm going to counter and say that using nofollow is more of a risk. Seriously folks, how many "real world" people know what the nofollow attribute is? Its us, we control the nofollow attribute. Use it and you've provided a marker. Its also a great way to tell your partners that you don't trust them. ;)

Yeah that. I'm not trying to take any risks or get away with anything. I'm happy to do as google says I just want to be educated first so I don't suffer any unwanted side effects.

So maybe a redirect that's robot'ed out would be better? That's a normal thing that's been around for a while, right? What's the best way to do that?

itravelvietnam




msg:3314385
 8:41 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do you think that by reporting Paid links to Google, we are doing brutal things? killing the others.

I have reported one site selling link without using nofollow tag, and I feel very sorry about that.

lasko




msg:3314414
 9:09 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've started using the rel="nofollow" tag in outbound links even though they're not paid. I think we need to dump the word paid for links because theirs no way of Google distinguishing whats paid or not.

We all know that to rank successfully for relative terms we need the following basic setup:

Unique content throughout the web site
Fresh updates and new content added monthly
Clean relative Titles
Clean relative meta tags
Clean relative headings in all web pages
Links to web pages using keywords probably now limited to a couple of words only per link
Inbound links to improve popularity and trust

Things that Google look out for:

Hidden Text
Doorway pages
Cloaking and bad redirects
Web pages stuffed with keywords and keyphrases
Links to web sites that are known spam web sites

I think Google has recently thrown in the nofollow tag into the algo to help combat the Google Bombing scenario and make webmasters responsible for the content they provide and link to.

It appears that web sites aren't completely banned but whenever a outbound link is found on several web pages without the nofollow attribute it can be seen as an SEO trick to help boost PR or rankings so that particular web page, its keyphrases and trustrank could be downgraded resulting in lower rankings, whilst other web pages within the web sites aren't affected.

Now theirs alot of innnocent web sites out there with outbound links, many webmasters won't be aware of the new changes. I think Google has provided enough hints and information about the new nofollow tag over the last 6 to 12 months. They were always going to use it one day, it now appears the day has come and it will most likely stay around forever because they're not the type of company to back down, they will just keep it and try to improve it each month.

I think all outbound links should now use the "nofollow" attribute unless your absolutly confident that the linked to web site is safe.

As GoogleGuy used to always say, your responsible for what appears on your web site.

If the nofollow tag doesn't help improve rankings then it will be difficult to find another logical reason for this sudden phenomenon.

irekmg




msg:3314435
 9:29 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know it is an abstract idea, but what if every web master, scared of being denounced as a link seller, adds the no-follow attribute to all outgoing links on her/his site? It would kill Google's link based algorithm, wouldn't it?

lasko




msg:3314441
 9:52 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

It would kill Google's link based algorithm, wouldn't it?

Yes it would but I think Google doesn't mind 1 link being used but if it detects several links on different pages then the nofollow tag could come into play.

Then again how much weight do backlinks count these days?

Marcia




msg:3314450
 10:04 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

It appears that web sites aren't completely banned but whenever a outbound link is found on several web pages without the nofollow attribute it can be seen as an SEO trick to help boost PR or rankings so that particular web page, its keyphrases and trustrank could be downgraded resulting in lower rankings, whilst other web pages within the web sites aren't affected.

That is so sad and so out of sync with reality and traditional, legitimately valid linking relationships, that it literally brings tears to my eyes.

graeme_p




msg:3314460
 10:28 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts (on his blog) said that they wanted paid links to be reported so that they could test new methods of detecting them.

This implies that we can expect new detection algorithms in the not too distant future.

If they can detect paid links reliably, it will have a big effect. I see paid links on a LOT of sites.

The Contractor




msg:3314472
 10:46 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, I'm going to counter and say that using nofollow is more of a risk.

Yeah, wasn't too long ago that doing anything besides linking direct was called hoarding Page Rank and a big no-no from Google.

They obviously want to be the advertising broker and soon anything you do on the net will go through them. What is surprising is how easily all the lemmings follow them and their ideas to slaughter...hehe

I want all those lemmings to get busy doing Googles work for free...hehe

lasko




msg:3314484
 11:09 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts (on his blog) said that they wanted paid links to be reported so that they could test new methods of detecting them.

Well I can see why alot of people can get very angry about this arrogant type behaviour but then again its Google's free choice to do whatever it likes.

There are gazillions of links on the net pointing to web sites that aren't paid links.

There is no way Google can detect whats paid and what isn't unless every webmaster starts using rel="nofollow".

Now every link that has rel="nofollow" is telling Google that this could potentially be a paid link.

Why use the word "PAID" link, thats what I don't understand. A so called paid link can be just plain ordinary link that points to more information about an event or some news etc that my visitors might find of interest. Doesn't mean i've received a financial reward for publishing the link.

I agree that Google has a problem with Paid links trying to manipulate PR but alot of innocent web sites will be unfairly punished just because they're not up todate with rel="nofollow" attribute or because they just can't update the thousends of archived pages within their web site.

The more things that they throw into the algo or try to be too clever could end up causing a complete mess of SERPS.

idolw




msg:3314518
 12:02 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

it is all about getting the small guy out of business and let big guys take all the pie.

big guys spend millions on adwords even if they rule the SERPs. small guys save on ads when they can.

best way to get more adwords money is to kick small guys (helping themselves with buying links) to the back and take adwords money from them.

and the big boys buying links wont get banned as they spend a few $M a month on adwords anyway.

whitenight




msg:3314526
 12:13 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they can detect paid links reliably, it will have a big effect. I see paid links on a LOT of sites.

Google has officially "jumped the shark" [en.wikipedia.org]

Let's see.

April 16, 2007 [nytimes.com], Google signs deal with Clear Channel communications.

Clear Channel's websites are one of the largest and most powerful networks of sites that obviously sell links.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall of that meeting when G says,
"Hey new advertising partner, that we need to grow our business. You need to enact a policy that will cut your own profits because we have a conflict of interest and can't control our results."

or

"Hey Google board of directors, if we truly implement our bought links measures, a large percentage of our SERPs for recognized and brand name companies are going to go missing.
And we're going to upset alot of powerful companies who spend fortunes on adwords.
But wait, we can use obvious selective downgrading of paid links for Fortune 1000 companies and open ourselves up to individual and class-action lawsuits.

Personally, I love the idea.
Jump that shark G!
They've let the genie out of the bottle to the remaining webmasters who actually thought G was a "kind-hearted" company.

And those of you who mistaken believe that your mom-and-pop website will now have a chance to rank?
Get real!
Those sites with adequate budgets will simply use less detectable ways of buying links.
Increasing the gap between have and have-nots.

Do you seriously believe that a Fortune 1000 company with a million dollar internet advertising budget (or any serious company who's already buying links) isn't simply going to pay the extra premium to get "personal reviews", even more PR releases, or whatever high-priced alternative to getting links that G finds acceptable?!

europeforvisitors




msg:3314619
 1:49 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are gazillions of links on the net pointing to web sites that aren't paid links.

Yep, and it's in the interests of Google and users to keep things that way.

There is no way Google can detect whats paid and what isn't unless every webmaster starts using rel="nofollow".

Google doesn't have to "detect." Google merely needs to "predict." If a mope like me can see text links for diet pills, mortgages, credit cards, etc. in the navigation bar of a weather site and deduce "Aha! Those are obviously paid links," it shouldn't be too hard for a team of search engineers to write an algorithm that makes the same educated guess. What's more, such blatantly off-topic links to e-commerce and affiliate sites don't have to result in penalties; they can simply be ignored.

Now every link that has rel="nofollow" is telling Google that this could potentially be a paid link.

No, every link that has rel="nofollow" is merely telling Google (and other search engines that recognize the nofollow attribute) that the Webmaster wants that link to be ignored. It certainly isn't likely to be a paid link unless the Webmaster is trying to cheat the buyer (and the buyer is dumb enough to let himself be cheated).

As for the idea (stated earlier in this thread) that outbound links without the nofollow attribute are risky, that's 180 degrees out of synch with common sense. Hypertext links (a.k.a. citations) are the most fundamental principle of the Web, they're the basis of Google's PageRank formula, and they're essential to a search engine's crawling and indexing of the Web.

1script




msg:3314658
 2:26 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

nofollow on paid links must be the most ridiculous idea that was ever inspired by Matt C.'s writings. It looks sometimes that he's mudding the water to catch blind fish, so to speak.

Before a link goes up on my site, paid or not, I review the site I am linking to. Therefore I can vouch for the page I'm linking to and so nofollow attribute is not required. It was supposed to be only for user-generated content pages that you as a webmaster did not personally review and therefore cannot give your link vote. If I did not want to vouch for the page, I would not have accepted the link in the first place.

whitenight




msg:3314699
 3:09 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hypertext links (a.k.a. citations) are the most fundamental principle of the Web, they're the basis of Google's PageRank formula

And herein lies the problem
You're talking about educational based Google of 199X.
Not stock-price ad-centric driven G of 2007.
Two different companies and two different internets.

But G hasn't really adapted.

Page and Brin, like most college students, were probably not looking past their final papers, let alone 10-20 years down the road into an unknown organic mega-industry.

Quite simply, the original PR formula was never meant to take into account:

- search/internet would become more a marketplace than a library,
- the basic principles of a free market,
- the exponential growth of pages,
- or even the fact that G would be part of that same marketplace.

And while the original PR formula still "works"... it works in a far less effective manner than when it was first envisioned.

These band-aids are cute and all, but some serious thinking needs to be done at the Plex on how to consolidate all the "unforeseen" changes to the web and the current reality of how it's used now (not 1999) by searchers, webmasters, and G alike.

OR

They could just turn off the little PR bar and eliminate much of the issue. ;)

decaff




msg:3314720
 3:28 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

As for the idea (stated earlier in this thread) that outbound links without the nofollow attribute are risky, that's 180 degrees out of synch with common sense. Hypertext links (a.k.a. citations) are the most fundamental principle of the Web, they're the basis of Google's PageRank formula, and they're essential to a search engine's crawling and indexing of the Web....

It's unfortunate that Google has to travel down this slippery slope...(but they have no choice given the dynamics of links and the value given to them by Google itself)...

If I, as a web publisher (be it ecommerce, information, education....etc..) can't simple set an outbound "hypertext" link from one of my content pages to another resource that I deem as a valuable complimentary resource for my visitors...and then have to consider how Google will see this (paid or not paid)...and worry about some of penatly or devaluation for ranking...what do I care anyways...?

I am not setting the link for ranking...I am setting the link for my site visitors...(who have become a loyal bunch of readers because I have consistently considered their needs and listened to their feedback over the years...)..

calicochris




msg:3314752
 4:04 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

OK, say I want to be a good 'Google Girl' (aaarch!) and add no-follow to the paid advertising links on my old and established, page 1, above the fold, authority site in its geographic niche. The site is successful through local advertising - the reason it is, is that the content and execution is quite excellent. Users come to this site to get information about the area - so there is a wide range of content on the site. Advertising is beneficial to the users of the site and our click-throughs are good. There are no rel=nofollow on any link thus far.

So, I add the no-follow tags.
What is going to happen to my site in the rankings? Is it going to go the Wiki way and hoard all its own link-love, or is it going to tumble to the depths of the net.
What will happen to my two most important competitors? They don't have 'no-follows'.
What will happen if the sites that I advertise on, also add the no-follows?

My problem is that I cannot 'see' the consequences of all of this clearly and apply it to my situation and make a strategy.

pageoneresults




msg:3314766
 4:15 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

What is going to happen to my site in the rankings?

I'd like to know the answer to that question too.

We know that both inbound and outbound links are part of the overall quality equation. If we start tagging those outbound links with the nofollow attribute, it interferes with the overall equation. Why would I want to do that?

Again, this whole nofollow thing stinks to me. Just look at what it was originally intended for.

caryl




msg:3314790
 4:36 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)


What is going to happen to my site in the rankings?

I'd like to know the answer to that question too.

Maybe we should hop over to this thread...
Google's 950 Penalty [webmasterworld.com]

and ask these folks what they think might happen?

WHAT THE 'H' is wrong with some of you people?

WHAT DO YOU THINK will happen to websites if their BACKLINKS start to EVAPORATE?

OLD, once TRUSTED SITES! Oh, the gd links are still there - it's just that the current webmaster has decided to yank the link love (read TRUST) from the link and make it virtually worthless.

Lets add to that - it is almost impossible to acquire ANY link these days that is not SUSPICIOUS and ....

VIOLA ......

We have the correct ingredients for creating next months VICTIMS in the MAY 2007 Google's 950 Penalty - Part X thread at webmaster world.

Oh - wait a minute - links have no importance in the search results anymore....

never mind.....

[edited by: tedster at 3:52 am (utc) on April 19, 2007]

randle




msg:3314842
 5:13 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

The cottage industry of link brokering is changing face.

After reading that thread on MC’s blog, boy I’ll say. There was no mistaking what he was saying;
•There’s absolutely no such thing as an acceptable paid link, that results in ranking or PR boosting.
•We are working algorithmically to root out paid links that boost rankings.
•I want manual reports on paid linking, so we can use that to begin measuring the effectiveness of the algorithmic efforts.

If they can detect paid links reliably, it will have a big effect. I see paid links on a LOT of sites.

If they really can make inroads relative to this the changes will be very large. Right now, paid linking seems to be quite effective, and in a way even more so as strong, diverse links seem to help dodge stuff like the 950 penalty.

Makes you wonder why they are suddenly cranking up the heat on this issue. Possible choppy waters ahead if that’s a relied upon part of your strategy.

lfgoal




msg:3314845
 5:17 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

" I've started using the rel="nofollow" tag in outbound links even though they're not paid."

Same here. Just to be safe. I link out to provide resources to visitors, not pass PR. So using nofollow is no big deal for me.

"Seriously folks, how many "real world" people know what the nofollow attribute is?"

You hit that on the head. I'd say at least 90% of all "webmasters" have never heard of it. Nofollow is only useful for those who would prefer to play it safe and those who TRULY NEED to play it safe.

"Its also a great way to tell your partners that you don't trust them."

It may also be a way to tell them you're linking to them to give them traffic versus PR and reputation.

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